Personally, I find it amazing how the Mall of Asia Complex continues to grow rapidly as it unveils new developments year after year. Today, it is known to be a major retail, entertainment, and business hub housing iconic structures such as the E-Com buildings (read a related article I wrote for Manila Bulletinhere), the SMX Convention Center, the MOA Arena (read my blog post and see pictures while it was still being constructed, here), and the very popular Mall of Asia.

a spectacular Manila Bay sunset
SM Mall of Asia AVP for Operations Perkin So shared that SM continuously strives to innovate and provide more and new services for the public's convenience and enjoyment. The launch of their latest project, the Esplanade Seaside Terminal, provides a more accessible and easier gateway to Corregidor as well as a way for guests to enjoy the beauty of the famous Manila Bay Sunset via offerings of partners Sun Cruises, Prestige Cruises, and Orient Craft Cruises

the MV Eagle Cruiser of Prestige Cruises
MOA patrons would find it very easy to embark on new experiences and adventures via exciting activities such as the Manila Bay Cruise, Dinner Cruise, and Corregidor Tour. The convenient location is very accessible by public or public transportation. 

off to a Cruise by the Bay
photo credit: Azrael Coladilla

The Energizer Night Race will always be memorable for me because this is the first fun run I joined last year after deciding I am really ready to pursue personal fitness. You can read my blog on the Energizer Night Race Manila 2014 here

with hubby before gun start
This year, more than 3,000 runners participated at the Energizer Night Race 2015 held once more at the Filinvest City Alabang last night. It is the first open loop run with the purpose to help underprivileged children under the care of Bantay Bata 163

Runners were encouraged to keep going and going (remember the bunny's tagline? LOL) to share positive energy and run as far and as fast as we could within two hours along the 3km loop. For every 3k a runner makes, P100 is donated to Bantay Bata 163's medical treatment funds. 

And because this is one of the most special runs I've been privileged to join, let me share five things I enjoyed about it:

1. We ran as a family. My husband, son, and I finished the race with a total of 13 loops or 39kms. Hubby ran six loops, Gab was able to make four, while I made three. I stopped around 1 hour 32 minutes because my feet were feeling a bit numb towards the end of the third loop but I was glad to have covered a total distance of 9.4km (according to my Runtastic app).

my official race results from Energizer's website

Time is precious. I am sure many of us acknowledge that in this fast-paced world we now live in. Moms, especially, seem to be always pressed for time because we have to accomplish so many things in a day. Sometimes, we wish for additional hours to the standard 24 just to fit in our responsibilities at home and in the office. Thus, I really appreciate having things that help me save time and effort so I can do more with less. 

Easy floor cleaning
For instance, our Electrolux Iron (we've had this for a few years already and it's still very functional) that comes with built-in steam and spray mechanisms allowed us to eliminate the spray bottle from the picture. The work is done faster with lesser effort but the clothes still come out crisp and wrinkle-free. What's more, the iron's light weight prevents my arm from feeling the usual muscle aches that result from ironing a lot of clothes in one go.

I love this iron's steam function!
And then, there's the Electrolux Silent Blender that is a big help in preparing food for my special child's tube feeding sessions. In the past, our previous blenders would only last for a few months because they can't handle the daily use we put them through. The bad thing was, we kept spending for new ones and get the same results! 

I grew up disliking Math. After learning the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, lessons became harder to understand as teachers breezed through the subjects, not really waiting for students to catch up and really understand what they need to learn and why. I see the same happening in many schools today and it continues to negatively affect students -- including my own kids.  

parent bloggers who now like Math!
I never thought there'd be a time when I would actually start to like Math … until I got to try solving problems the Singapore Math way. My first thought was, "So there is a better and easier way! Why are Philippine schools not teaching this?!" 

Singapore's math curriculum remains top in academic excellence worldwide
Apparently, there are now a few schools in the Philippines that have already started teaching Singapore Math. But there are still so many students, parents, and teachers who need to know about this! In the world of education, Singapore Math has transformed how students see mathematics. From personal experience, I saw that it really is an effective tool in promoting creativity and innovation because it's different (and much more fun) than the traditional ways of learning math and solving equations. 

learning should be FUN!

In recent years, consumer lifestyle has continued to change dramatically along with the staggering number of smartphone users and improved connectivity. Likewise, effortless online shopping is gaining more ground among busy people who appreciate the convenience of new payment methods and better delivery services.  

with Mr. Inanc Balci of Lazada
Cosmic Technologies Inc., the company behind Cherry Mobile, is officially launching its first exclusive online brand, CUBIX. This smartphone is expected to become a significant contributor in the online market given the growing amount of customers patronizing e-commerce.  

Later this week, online customers who are planning to buy a new and affordable smartphone with great features will be in for a treat as Cosmic Technologies Inc. makes the CUBIX CUBE available exclusively online through Lazada starting June 26 at 12NN

Cubix Cube will be available in Lazada starting June 26, 2015
Inanc Balci, CEO of Lazada Philippines, shared that the number of mobile subscriptions is set to overtake the global population this year, which makes it the perfect time to introduce new phones that set the standard for an upscale lifestyle, with an added shopping convenience without the added price. "Now that we are more connected than ever, the only challenge left for most Filipinos is to find the perfect mobile companion that can handle all their lifestyle needs," he pointed out.

Cherry Mobile once again shook the local tech scene last week when it launched its latest devices during the Overdrive Circuit event held at the Crowne Plaza. Known for offering world-class value-for-money devices, the leading local phone brand surveyed customers around the country to know more about mobile phone users and what are their most honest wants and needs. 

Cherry Mobile launches the Flare X
Results of this grassroots projects helped the company identify key factors such as entertainment, imaging, gaming, and being social-ready as consumers' considerations when buying a new phone, apart from the ultimate criteria of affordability. To meet such demands, the Cherry Mobile Flare X was released.

introducing the Cherry Mobile Flare X
Along with Cherry Mobile executives, members of the media and other attendees got to experience firsthand the above-mentioned factors desired by consumers via different stations at the event area. Flare X is one powerful mobile device as it has a 1.7GHz Octa-Core Processor with 3GB of RAM that won't disappoint avid mobile gamers and entertainment seekers. The device further boasts of a 5.5" IPS Full HD Screen coupled with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection for maximum graphic display quality.

Cherry Mobile Flare X retails for only P6,999

My family spent part of Father's Day last Sunday at the Papa John's event in Blue Bay Walk. It was my first time to visit this place and we found it really nice. The open, grassy areas make the environment such a good place to hang about in. 

Father's Day with the boys
What was special during this particular event was the Dine and Win Raffle Draw for a brand new Mazda 3 Skyactiv car. 

waiting for the winner's name to be drawn

I like to shop but I sometimes have misgivings buying clothes and shoes online because I worry that the things I'd like to buy would not fit me well when they arrive on my doorstep. I prefer trying on stuff first and seeing how they look on me before I do decide to make a purchase.

try before you buy
Those who identify with this sentiment would be happy to know that Asia's leading online fashion destination, ZALORA Philippines, has officially opened the doors of its ZALORA Pop-Up Store the other day at EDSA Shangri-la Mall. This very first digital pop-up store in the country represents the company's latest efforts in building e-Commerce using an omnichannel approach to help customers get into online shopping.

first-ever digital pop-up store in the Philippines
Paulo Campos, Co-Founder and CEO of ZALORA Philippines, affirmed that the pop-up store marks another milestone in their company's young history. "Since we started operations in 2012, we continued to look for innovative ways to grow e-Commerce in the Philippines and, through this initiative, we hope to widen our customer reach, educate them on the benefits of online shopping, and dress them in the latest fashion trends, in the quickest and most convenient way possible."

wide variety of choices for women 

It was in April 8, 2014 when the hallway of Sky Park in SM Aura began to be filled with long lines of people, day after day, all eager to have a taste of Magnum Manila's Belgian chocolate creations.  I was there one week before the store opened and personally experienced how fun it is to Make My Magnum.

preserving a Magnum memory
The concept of bringing the ultimate Magnum brand experience to the Philippines was a big hit. But, like they said in the very beginning, Magnum Manila is just a pop-up store and will only be around for a year. It is a special brand activation that has also previously opened and already closed in London, Paris, Brazil, and other cities around the world.

Crepe de Jour
Make My Magnum allowed pleasure-seekers to take their favorite ice cream bar and turn it into a unique masterpiece according to their liking. Aside from this, customers indulged in Belgian chocolate creations of award winning pastry chef Miko Aspiras who made new ones recently just before Magnum Manila finally closes its doors. 

Campfire S'Mores

Living a healthy life is a choice. We can't just say we want to be fit. We have to work on it by making good food choices and making time to find physical activities to strengthen our bodies. I personally believe that and make sure my family eats balanced meals while also engaging in sports like running or swimming as forms of recreation. 

picture credit to
This coming July, Robinsons Supermarket will be holding a Wellness Festival that aims to encourage everyone to start their journey to health and fitness. The month-long festivity will be filled with promos and activities that will help jumpstart peoples' interest to choose a healthy lifestyle.

Yesterday at Robinsons Magnolia, an event area was set up where mall goers can check out booths of participating health and wellness brands. Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Del Monte, Abbott, Fonterra, and Unilab offered exciting activations and freebies that let shoppers enjoy and learn more about wellness.

(from left) Iya, Daniel, Vanessa, Rachel, Barni
The event was hosted by TV personality and fitness enthusiast Iya Villania-Arellano. Also present were sisters Rachel Alejandro and Barni Rennebeck of The Sexy Chef. The two demonstrated how to make three healthy and delicious recipes that are easy to make. I am excited to try them at home. I love their Detox Green Smoothie that uses kangkong leaves! 

Unilever's booth offered taste tests on yummy dishes made with Knorr products
What I personally appreciate about Robinsons Supermarket is its continuing commitment to help Filipinos make healthier choices through easier access to good food alternatives and making this as convenient at possible. As soon as you set foot inside a Robinsons Supermarket branch, zoom in directly to the unique Health and Wellness section where you can find products for varied nutrition needs to fit every lifestyle so you can make learned purchases.

I had my Body Mass Index checked at the Ensure booth and they said my body age is 18! :D
Observe also the color coded "Shop Smart" tags to help you easily find items based on their health benefits, nutritional content, and price discounts. For instance, healthy items come with green tags because they meet at least three (3) of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute's eight (8) nutritional attributes: low salt, low calorie, low fat, low in saturated fat, sugar free, low cholesterol, low sodium, source of protein, and source of dietary fiber. Good to know, right? 

ready to eat fruits are so convenient -- and healthy!
And then there's Robinsons Supermarket's own exclusive line of products called Healthy You, which offers nuts, oats, juices, olive oils, and many more. There's also the ready-to-eat station called Healthy Selections where your can find pre-packed healthy meals called Fit Cuisine or the make-your-own-salad station.

Aja Totanes
Aja Totanes, Robinsons Supermarket Marketing Manager, shared that they, at Robinsons Supermarket, believe that health and wellness is not a destination but a continuous journey. "And we want to be part of that journey in people's lives by being a trusted partner that they can always rely on for all their health and wellness needs."    

my hubby and I super love Tipco's broccoli juice!
On July 5, the wellness journey is made more fun with the 8th Wellness Fit & Fun Buddy Run at the Bonifacio Global City where 4,500 runners are expected to join in the 5km and 10km categories. This is the only buddy run in the Philippines that inspires participants to urge their loved ones to also take up an active lifestyle. 

with fellow bloggers (from left) Jen M., Lou, Erica, Jenny, Jen A., and Myrns
Brother and sister, Daniel and Vanessa Matsunaga, both active lifestyle advocates, jumpstarted the race to wellness by competing against each other in fun, health-related activities in Robinsons Magnolia. Can you guess who won? :)

the J&J booth is so colorful :)
Make your wellness journey even more rewarding this July by keeping an eye out for the Wellness Festival and its exciting in-store activities and freebies for Robinsons Supermarket customers nationwide. Remember, choosing a healthy lifestyle starts with one small step. Care to read mine? Read this

be part of the Wellness Festival and start living a healthier lifestyle
Start your wellness journey today by being part of Robinsons Supermarket's #ILoveWellness campaign. For more information and the latest updates, like or visit  Let's all stay healthy!

So you are frustrated at having excess fat in various areas of your body. What are you going to do about it? Some of you would probably say you'd like to undergo liposuction while others may prefer to just control what they eat and engage in exercises. Some would think about the hard work and expense it's going to take and give up the thought of getting slimmer there and then.

photo borrowed from Contours' website
If you want less effort and more results, you may want to visit Contours Body Design Studio. This clinic offers Laserfit, a holistic approach to weight loss and body contouring. It is a combination of non-invasive Cold Laser (Zerona) exposure to melt fat, 10 minute workouts to burn fats, and proper nutritional recommendations. 

According to Dr. Claudine S. Roura, Contours President and Managing Director, a cold laser treatment will release fat from the body for three days. BUT, to maximize results and capitalize on the effectivity of the cold laser, you should accompany it with 10 minute workouts to burn fats, trim down, and lose weight. 

Dr. Roura explaining how Laserfit works
The Laserfit Protocol involves: 40 minutes of Zerona 2-3 times a week; 10 minute interval training workout; 10 minute vibrafit exercises; daily 10 minute workouts at home; 7-inch diet plate recommendations or a structured meal plan; and behavioral modification techniques. 

I can no longer remember what year our son with special needs got hooked on Hi-5. But I recall how we'd play the group's CDs over and over, every day, for months. We loved the original cast composed of Kathleen (a Filipina), Kellie, Charli, Tim, and Nathan. Expectedly, even my husband and I learned to sing most of their songs. 

James with the Hi-5 Philippines cast
plus Fely Irvine, former cast member of Hi-5 Australia
Our James continued to love Hi-5 through the years. When the group had a show in SM Aura in 2013, we brought him there to see the new cast. Despite his not being able to talk, my son shows how much he appreciates listening to the upbeat songs and watching the dances by laughing out loud and staring at the TV screen with bright and happy eyes. 

James staring intently at Rissey :) 

If one of your family members gets seriously sick tomorrow, needs hospitalization, a surgery, and rehabilitation procedures, can you afford to shell out several hundred thousand pesos in the coming days, weeks, and months? 

survey says ...
Sun Life commissioned a Social Weather Station survey about Filipinos' preparedness when it comes to health-related and financial concerns. It was found out that 1 of 2 Filipinos are planning to make an expensive purchase within the next two years, such as a house and lot or car, with 9 out of 10 actually prepared to fund it.

At the same time, 7 out of 10 Filipinos worry about uncertainties such as the death of a breadwinner, acquiring critical illnesses, and the inability to pay for huge medical expenses. Please refer to the photo above to see how many Filipinos are actually prepared financially in the event of a grave illness in the family. 

Riza Mantaring (left) during the Brighter Life Institute launch

I've been to Malaysia a few times in the past and have always enjoyed my stay because there are a lot of activities to do and beautiful sights to see. This year, Tourism Malaysia marks 2015 as the Year of Festivals with the theme "Endless Celebrations." 

Legoland Malaysia's Opening Day - September 2012
Likewise, Tourism Malaysia-Manila launches the BFF or Be Friends Forever campaign that aims to let others know what to expect when they go to Malaysia through the experiences of those who have already been there. 

Travelers who visited the beautiful country are encouraged to post their favorite vacation photos on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #mybffxoxo for a chance to win special monthly prizes from Tourism Malaysia and the grand prize of a three days and two nights stay in Malaysia accompanied by his or her best friend (or family member).

Malaysia captured in photos

We all enjoy having Good Times and creating Great Memories with our loved ones. In my family's case, one of our regular bonding moments is to order from Shakey's using my SuperCard because we'd always get a free pizza for every pizza order! 

buy two, take four!
Of course, there are days we'd also crave for some Chicken 'N' Mojos or several servings of Bunch O' Lunch. If we feel really lazy to go out of the house, or too busy to cook, we'd usually just dial 77-777 and order delivery.

Shakey's bunch o' lunch and more!
It's fair to say that in the past 40 years, Shakey's has already timelessly won the hearts and tastes of several generations. Plus, the brand continues to come up with new and delectable innovations such as last year's Pizza 1954, fun and exciting party packages for kids, and the recent Philly Cheesesteak Pizza.

Angus Steakhouse and Philly CheeseSteak pizzas 

Many of us love snacking on chips but there are particular ones that capture the true tastes that Filipinos love. Tasty and crunchy snacks have remained timeless as food-loving Juans never seem to get tired of eating them.

a uniquely Filipino snack
Yesterday, my family and I discovered a new snack item from our favorite Jack 'N Jill brand that has the irresistible, crunchy, sour, and spicy taste of chicken skin! Chik'n Skin ni Mang Juan with Suka flavor perfectly combines the flavor of the popular fried chicken skin and the sour and spicy punch of vinegar. 

Chik'n Skin ni Mang Juan perfectly combines salty, spicy, and sour tastes!

I have a JBL wireless bluetooth speaker that I really enjoy using. It gives out clear and crisp sounds and I can bring it anywhere around the house while I do my chores even if I have to leave my phone or my iPod charging on our dining table. 

my favorite wireless portable speaker
Now, residents of Fairview, Quezon City and its neighboring areas would have an easier time checking out new offerings from JBL and the Harman group as Beyond Innovations Inc. launches a new JBL / Harman Kardon branch at Fairview Terraces where consumers can find high-end audio, visual, and infotainment products.

Janine Gutierrez
The ribbon-cutting was graced by Kapuso star Janine Gutierrez (who I only found out that day is the daughter of Ramon Christopher and Lotlot de Leon -- sorry, I'm not updated on showbiz news lately!) last May 30. 

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